The Fields Collection

The Fields collection is one of ADO's intrinsic collections. A collection is an ordered set of items that can be referred to as a unit. For more information about ADO collections, see The ADO Object Model.

The Fields collection contains a Field object for every field (column) in the Recordset. Like all ADO collections, it has Count and Item properties, as well as Append and Refresh methods. It also has CancelUpdate, Delete, Resync, and Update methods, which are not available to other ADO collections.

Examining the Fields Collection

Consider the Fields collection of the sample Recordset introduced in this section. The sample Recordset was derived from the SQL statement

SELECT ProductID, ProductName, UnitPrice FROM Products WHERE CategoryID = 7  

Thus, you should find that the Recordset Fields collection contains three fields.

    Dim objFields As ADODB.Fields  
    Dim intLoop As Integer  

    objRs.Open strSQL, strConnStr, adOpenForwardOnly, adLockReadOnly, adCmdText  

    Set objFields = objRs.Fields  

    For intLoop = 0 To (objFields.Count - 1)  
        Debug.Print objFields.Item(intLoop).Name  

This code simply determines the number of Field objects in the Fields collection using the Count property and loops through the collection, returning the value of the Name property for each Field object. You can use many more Field properties to get information about a field. For more information about querying a Field, see The Field Object.

Counting Columns

As you might expect, the Count property returns the actual number of Field objects in the Fields collection. Because numbering for members of a collection begins with zero, you should always code loops starting with the zero member and ending with the value of the Count property minus 1. If you are using Microsoft Visual Basic and want to loop through the members of a collection without checking the Count property, use the For Each...Next command.

If the Count property is zero, there are no objects in the collection.

Getting to the Field

As with any ADO collection, the Item property is the default property of the collection. It returns the individual Field object specified by the name or index passed to it. Therefore, the following statements are equivalent for the sample Recordset:

objField = objRecordset.Fields.Item("ProductID")  
objField = objRecordset.Fields("ProductID")  
objField = objRecordset.Fields.Item(0)  
objField = objRecordset.Fields(0)  

If these methods are equivalent, which is best? It depends. Using an index to retrieve a Field from the collection is faster because it accesses the Field directly without having to perform a string lookup. On the other hand, the order of Fields within the collection must be known, and if the order changes, the reference to the Field's index will have to be changed wherever it occurs. Although slightly slower, using the name of the Field is more flexible because it doesn't depend on the order of the Fields in the collection.

Using the Refresh Method

Unlike some other ADO collections, using the Refresh method on the Fields collection has no visible effect. To retrieve changes from the underlying database structure, you must use either the Requery method, or if the Recordset object does not support bookmarks, the MoveFirst method, which will cause the command to be executed against the provider again.

Adding Fields to a Recordset

The Append method is used to add fields to a Recordset.

You can use the Append method to fabricate a Recordset programmatically without opening a connection to a data source. A run-time error will occur if the Append method is called on the Fields collection of an open Recordset or on a Recordset where the ActiveConnection property has been set. You can append fields only to a Recordset that is not open and has not yet been connected to a data source. However, to specify values for the newly appended Fields, the Recordset must first be opened.

Developers often need a place to temporarily store some data, or want some data to act as if it came from a server so it can participate in data binding in a user interface. ADO (in conjunction with the Microsoft Cursor Service for OLE DB) enables the developer to build an empty Recordset object by specifying column information and calling Open. In the following example, three new fields are appended to a new Recordset object. Then the Recordset is opened, two new records are added, and the Recordset is persisted to a file. (For more information about Recordset persistence, see Updating and Persisting Data.)

    Dim objRs As ADODB.Recordset  
    Set objRs = New ADODB.Recordset  

    With objRs.Fields  
        .Append "StudentID", adChar, 11, adFldUpdatable  
        .Append "FullName", adVarChar, 50, adFldUpdatable  
        .Append "PhoneNmbr", adVarChar, 20, adFldUpdatable  
    End With  

    With objRs  

        .Fields(0) = "123-45-6789"  
        .Fields(1) = "John Doe"  
        .Fields(2) = "(425) 555-5555"  

        .Fields(0) = "123-45-6780"  
        .Fields(1) = "Jane Doe"  
        .Fields(2) = "(615) 555-1212"  
    End With  

    objRs.Save App.Path & "FabriTest.adtg", adPersistADTG  


The usage of the Fields Append method differs between the Recordset object and the Record object. For more information about the Record object, see Records and Streams.

See Also

Fabricating Hierarchical Recordsets